6.7/10
145
9 user 4 critic

Sword in the Desert (1949)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 31 October 1949 (Sweden)
In 1947, with only months remaining until the partition of British-administered Palestine, an American freighter captain smuggles European Jewish refugees ashore under the nose of the British authorities.

Director:

George Sherman

Writer:

Robert Buckner
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... Mike Dillon
Märta Torén ... Sabra
Stephen McNally ... David Vogel
Jeff Chandler ... Asvan Kurta
Philip Friend ... Lt. Ellerton
Hugh French ... Maj. Sorrell
Liam Redmond ... Jerry McCarthy
Lowell Gilmore ... Maj. Stephens
Stanley Logan Stanley Logan ... Col. Bruce Evans
Hayden Rorke ... Capt. Beaumont
George Tyne ... Dov
Peter Coe ... Tarn
Paul Marion Paul Marion ... Jeno
Marten Lamont Marten Lamont ... Capt. Fletcher (as Martin Lamont)
David Wolfe ... Gershon
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Storyline

Cynical freighter captain Mike Dillon hopes to take the money and run after helping to smuggle Jewish refugees ashore in pre-Israel Palestine. But against his will, he's drawn into the escalating fight between British occupation forces and the founders of Israel. In a battle doubly terrible because the audience sympathizes with both sides, how long can Mike remain a bystander? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their story is written in the burning sands and Bullets Sing the Fame of Their Deeds !

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1949 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Desert Legion See more »

Filming Locations:

Monterey, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Chandler, a Jew whose real name was Ira Grossel, was extremely proud of his Jewish heritage. Kurta was the only explicitly Jewish character he ever got to play in his career. See more »

Quotes

David Vogel: You haven't much faith in mankind, have you?
Mike Dillon: Why should I have? What's it ever done for me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Young Man with a Horn (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Appeal For Understanding, Empathy and Suppoprt
24 July 2014 | by redryan64See all my reviews

PREDATING THE PRODUCTION and release of EXODUS by about a dozen year or so, this film presents us with a fictional account of the movement toward a Jewish Homeland. Basing the story on real life incidents that occurred involving the smuggling of mostly European Jews into the Holy Land, doing so in spite of regulations to the contrary imposed by the British; who controlled Palestine ever since the end o World War I.

ADDITIONALLY, Resistance WAS given by he various Arab peoples who lived there. This is the first dramatization of conflicts and problems which exist right down to this very day, hour and minute.

THE CAST ASSEMBLED was again most capable, talent-laden and appropriately seasoned. Headed up by Dana Andrews (as a cynical, world- weary gentile ship captain), he is ably assisted and supported by: Marta Toren, Stephen McNally, Jeff Chandler, Phillip Friend Hugh French, Liam Redmond and even Hayden Roarke. Many others also participated.

IN HORT, CYNICAL ship's captain (Dana Andrews) has a deep change of hart and a veritable Epiphany concerning hi view of lie and the World itself. His cold, indifferent attitudes slowly get eroded as he observes the determination of those displaced, penniless people, braving it all; in an all or nothing drive to settle in and found the modern State of Israel.

THE ACTIONS PORTRAYED, as well as the characters depicted, were largely symbolic and intended to rally World-wide support for the home-lander movement. We vividly recall one particular exchange among those lines. When Capt. Dillon (Mr. Andrews)) discovers a rebel soldier to be from Ireland and asks him just why he is there. All decked out in his best uniform of the IRA, the Irishman answers; "Because this is where this fight is!"

A VERY MEMORABLE scene featuring Christmas Eve in Bethlehem closes out the movie's emotional appeal to America and the World, regardless of whatever one's religion may be.


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